Chargers rookie Isaac Rochell eager for action after months on practice squad
By Jack Wang
COSTA MESA — Isaac Rochell made his professional debut on Monday Night Football. He spent most of the next three months on the Chargers’ practice squad.
Such is life for an NFL rookie, especially one drafted at No. 225 overall.
The former Notre Dame defensive lineman was never guaranteed a roster spot, not as a seventh-round pick fighting for a role on what may be the Chargers’ deepest position group. He got a chance to play in Denver in Week 1 in part because veteran Tenny Palepoi was serving the tail end of his four-game PED suspension.
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When Palepoi came back two days after the season-opening loss to the Broncos, well … Rochell became the odd man out. The Chargers (8-7) cut him, but once he cleared waivers, the Notre Dame product found a spot on their practice squad.
Rochell admits it wasn’t a great feeling, even if he was still guaranteed the practice-squad minimum of $7,200 per week.
“Any time you get a demotion – just period, in life – it’s frustrating,” he said Thursday. “But I think it was valuable. I got a lot better from Week 2 to Week 15. … There are a lot of positive takeaways, but no doubt, I was frustrated.”
The Chargers promoted Rochell on Dec. 12, four days before a trip to Kansas City. He didn’t play at Arrowhead Stadium, not behind a defensive line that was already using a seven-man rotation. But when defensive tackle Corey Liuget – a Pro Bowl alternate – injured his knee, […]